A Sonoma dinner.

Sonoma pond.

Our friend’s Sonoma pond.

We were included in a wonderful dinner party last night. Our friends’ lovely spot resembles some combination of a mythic scene from “On Golden Pond,” a romantic Tahoe retreat, and the authentic and rustic Sonoma from years past.

Path to our friends' hidden home.

Path to our friends’ hidden home.

Sonoma organic garden.

Sonoma organic garden.

One of the Valley’s early winemakers, they are also terrific gardeners, and much of the meal originated in these livestock water troughs.

Chef Zach at work over the BBQ

Chef Zach at work over the BBQ

We enjoyed an outrageous dinner of grilled marinated chicken, roasted potatoes, a melon, Japanese cucumber, cilantro and almond salad (I must share this recipe with you), grilled squash, and an apple crostata.  Our host opened several bottles of vintage wines from his cellar, including Haywood Chardonnay, Cabernet and Zinfandel.

Sweet old dogs on the porch.

Sweet old dogs on the porch.

Cozy inside.

The glow of happy friends.

Sonoma living at its finest. Good friends, laughter, fresh from the garden organic fruits and vegetables, great local wines, and a full moon.


A few links for you to enjoy:

We are opening up our chicken coop for the 3rd Annual Tour de Coop on Saturday, August 31, from 10 am to 2 pm. It’s a great event for chicken-lovers everywhere. You’ll get to tour several local coops at your own pace. You get a map and can drive or bike around town talking to the farmers about – what else? – chickens! Check it out here and get your tickets! Proceeds benefit the Sonoma Garden Park.

My best friend and I got our first horses in high school and we worked at our barn to work off our board and lessons. In addition to mucking and bedding an upper and lower barn, feeding, sweeping aisles and loading hay in the bitter Wisconsin winters and sweltering summers, we also cleaned the living quarters of our trainer and his employees. He loved country music and my girlfriend and I found several albums by Conway Twitty. We doubled over in laughter every time one of us said “Twitty.” We could not get over it, or his hair. What did we know! I play this song, Hello Darlin’, all the time and thought you too might enjoy this cry in your beer classic.

Of course, if you are like me and sometimes nothing feels better than being sad, nothing will make you happier than The Possum himself, George Jones singing, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Looking for outrageously great movie? My mind was completely blown away by “20 Feet From Stardom.”

Ever wonder what Farrah Fawcett, Whitney Houston’s Mom, and planes have in common? Check out this great piece on the story behind “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

A dry winter + troubled bees +a cooler than usual spring = small avocados. Have you noticed? Me too.




6 responses to “A Sonoma dinner.”

  1. avatar Dyann says:

    Only other version that moves me. Nice tribute to George, sung by Alan Jackson at the funeral.
    (Had no idea you were a real country fan!)
    From The Sons of the Pioneers’ “Clear, Cool Water” (my mom’s favorite song)to Asleep at the Wheel (“Livin’ on Tulsa Time”), Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allen Coe (“Like Desperadoes Waiting for the Train) a great duet with George & Emmy Lou http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzyQvgphkOI&feature=share&list=RD02VRbqKeLSSpQ and one of those that touches me every time: “7 Spanish Angels, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson http://youtu.be/xXVpC8iFygE
    Send me some of your faves.

  2. avatar Randy says:

    Great! I loved your link to “Midnight Train”.

  3. avatar Julie says:

    Hi Ligeia —

    Isn’t that a great, rustic spot! I too have been there thanks to a friend of mine who is also friends with Maggie & Peter…such lovely people. Maggie has a Rangpur Lime tree that makes wonderful marmalade, and I’ve had the pleasure of nibbling veggies right out of her raised beds…it’s a very happy garden!


  4. Thanks Randy – I couldn’t get over that story. It’s such a great song and I will never hear it again without remembering the background of how it came to be.

  5. Yup. I wish my photos were able to better capture the magic.

  6. I am a HUGE country music fan! In general, I love the authentic, twangy, old-style stuff.